Queensland unveils $40 bn clean energy plan to cut coal use

Queensland renewable energy

Queensland, one of Australia’s top coal-producing states, said it will convert its coal-fired power plants to renewable hubs by 2035 under a A$62 billion ($40 billion) clean energy plan.

Queensland would source 70 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2032 and 80 percent by 2035, versus the previous target of 50 percent by 2030, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

The 10-year plan included a A$150 million support package for affected workers.

It envisaged construction of a dam and pumped hydropower project in the Pioneer Valley near Mackay that would supply half of Queensland’s future energy needs.

The clean energy plans include a supergrid connecting solar, wind, battery and hydrogen generators across the state unlocking 22 GW of new renewable capacity, eight times current levels.

Queensland’s eight coal-fired plants, some of which are not due to retire until the 2040s, would remain as backup until replacement pumped hydro energy storage was operational.

The total planned investment out to 2035 would be shared between the public and private sectors.

Three South Korean groups would build a green energy export hub in Queensland, aiming to produce a million tons of green ammonia – considered a key alternative to coal in power generation – annually for export by 2032.

Australia’s Clean Energy Council said Queensland’s plans could cut by 90 percent its electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions on 2005 levels by 2035-36.